Oscar victor Geoffrey Rush is suing The Daily Telegraph for defamation

Friday, 08 Dec, 2017

Australian actor Geoffrey Rush said on Friday he had filed a defamation lawsuit against Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper after it published a report about a complaint alleging inappropriate conduct.

Rush's lawyer Nicholas Pullen has called a press conference for 3pm (AEDT) on Friday at the offices of HWL Ebsworth in Melbourne where he is a partner, stating that Mr Rush will be present.

The newspaper published allegations last month that Rush had engaged in "inappropriate behaviour" during a Sydney Theatre Company (STC) production of King Lear.

Geoffrey Rush makes his first media appearance since the claims.

In a short statement to media today, Rush described the allegations as "slurs, innuendo and hyperbole", and said they had caused "irreparable damage" to his reputation, as well as hurt to his family.

On 2 December Rush announced he had stepped down as president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts due to the allegations in order to protect his colleagues from being associated with the allegations.

When asked about the claims being leveled against Rush, Australian actress Rachel Griffiths said the actor "is not Harvey Weinstein" - referencing the Hollywood mogul who faces multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

The veteran actor's breakthrough performance in the 1996 film Shine, earnt him an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA.

Camera IconGeoffrey Rush at the Los Angeles premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Rush said the "situation is intolerable and I must now seek vindication of my good name through the courts". A court date is yet to be set.

The Daily Telegraph reported the matter would go before the Federal Court in Sydney on February 8.

The Daily Telegraph ran a front page with the headline "King Leer" below a headshot of 66-year-old Rush in costume as the titular character on November 30.

The publisher has since said it would appeal the payout as the "unprecedented" amount had major implications for the media industry.